The Cabinet Secretary for Health announces finalised review panel for women who have raised concerns about their mesh surgery case records
The Health and Social Care Alliance (the ALLIANCE) welcomes the announcement from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeanne Freeman, on Friday 12th February, of the finalised panel for the Transvaginal Mesh Case Record Review. This announcement, prompted by a question from Rona Mackay, MSP Strathkelvin and Bearsden (this link will take you away from our website) follows a statement from the Cabinet Secretary in February 2020 (this link will take you away from our website), and ongoing campaign work by mesh injured women across the country.
The Case Record Review will be offered to women who have raised concerns about whether their case records accurately reflect the treatment that they have received in relation to full and partial removal of mesh. This Review will give women an opportunity to set out their concerns and have their records reviewed by clinicians.
The Cabinet Secretary set out the panel as follows:
- Moderator: Professor Alison Britton, Professor of Healthcare and Medical Law at Glasgow Caledonian University
- Professor Anthony Smith, Professor of Urogynaecology, Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre, Consultant Gynaecologist (retired)
- Mr Ian Currie, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Vice President, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists 2011-2016
- Dr Carey Lunan MBE,GP, NHS Lothian, Chair of Royal College of GPs, Scotland, 2017-2020
- Administrator: Mrs Irene Brown
Women who are eligible for the Review will receive invitations to participate shortly. To begin with, the Review will be offered to women who attended meetings in November 2019 with the Cabinet Secretary and the First Minister. After this, the potential for offering more women a review through a similar model will be considered.
The ALLIANCE also welcomes the Cabinet Secretary’s support for the introduction of a General Medical Council (GMC) approved credential in mesh removal surgery. Credentialing mesh removal surgery will ensure that the skills required to perform the surgery are clearly defined, with assessment standardised. By formally recognising the skills of surgeons, credentialing aims to provide assurance for patients and help to improve trust in a transparent service.
The ALLIANCE has been engaging with mesh injured women since 2019. Currently, the ALLIANCE is working with the Scottish Government to facilitate engagement with women who have experience of mesh surgery through an online survey and focus groups. This follows on from the ALLIANCE’s My Life, My Experience report (2019), which highlighted the impact of mesh surgery on women’s lives and their trust in services. The results from the ongoing engagement process will be available soon.
Irene Oldfather, Director of Strategy and Engagement at the ALLIANCE says of the announcement:
“The Alliance asked women what they wanted from a case note review last year. I’m pleased to see things moving forward in a way that will begin to give women answers to the questions they’ve been asking for some time. We welcome these announcements as a step forward in hearing the voice of women themselves”